Oil

Arctic Oil Drilling
5:52 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Delays In Bellingham Curtail Arctic Oil Drilling

Shell's Arctic Challenger, under construction on the Bellingham waterfront.
Photo by John Ryan KUOW

Shell Oil is scaling back its plans for drilling in the Arctic Ocean this year. Icy conditions in the far North and construction problems in Bellingham have delayed the company's efforts. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.

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Land Auctions
7:22 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Natural Gas Industry Eyes Mineral Rights In Idaho Wildlife Reserve

The natural gas industry is interested in mineral rights in a Northwest wildlife area. Aaron Kunz explains.

This month, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission authorized the state to auction off the mineral rights for nearly 400 acres in the Payette River Wildlife Management Area. The auction could take place in late July.

Suzanne Budge is with the Idaho Petroleum Council. She explains why the company, Snake River Oil and Gas, is interested in the mineral rights.

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Puget Sound Tankers
6:37 am
Mon April 30, 2012

New Report Details Tanker Risk In Puget Sound

Twelve years ago, BP built a second dock at its Cherry Point refinery north of Bellingham, WA. But they didn’t do an assessment of what that added dock capacity would mean for tanker traffic in Washington waters. Now the Army Corps of Engineers has released a long-awaited study that does just that. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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B.C. Pipeline Expansion
6:22 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Washington Not Ready For Implications Of B.C. Pipeline Expansion

In a typical crude oil spill floating boom is used to corral the oil, which collects in a sheen on the surface. But what happens if the oil sinks?
Photo credit: Ashley Ahearn KUOW

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Canadian pipeline operators are considering expanding the line that brings oil from the Alberta Oil Sands to western British Columbia. Environmentalists and others say that raises the potential for oil spills in Northwest waters and, it involves a different type of oil.

Right now the Trans Mountain pipeline moves 300,000 barrels of oil per day to an export terminal near Vancouver, B.C. If the Canadian government approves the expansion that amount could almost triple. More oil in the pipeline means more oil loaded onto large tanker ships. Those ships will eventually head out the Strait of Juan De Fuca to the Pacific.

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Northwest Oil Pipelines
6:53 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Quake Lessons From Japan: Pay Attention To Energy Resiliency

After a major earthquake, gasoline resupply may be dependent on petroleum barges like this one.
Photo by Yumei Wang DOGAMI

BELLINGHAM -- Sunday marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The tsunami destruction and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown garner the most attention. There was another cause of suffering in Japan's quake zone. In some places, you couldn't get gasoline for weeks to fuel cars and generators. The Pacific Northwest is prone to the same kind of earthquake. Correspondent Tom Banse reports emergency planners say this region's fuel supply lines are vulnerable.

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Ship Cleanup
5:54 am
Wed February 22, 2012

Dealing With Derelict Vessels

Melissa Ferris heads the Derelict Vessel Program in Washington. She's standing on the "deck" of a cabin cruiser that was dredged from the bottom of an inlet near Olympia.
Photo by Ashley Ahearn Northwest News Network

COLUMBIA RIVER, Wash. -- There are hundreds of abandoned or sunken ships in Northwest waters. These vessels can threaten navigation, human safety and the environment. But state agencies in the region are only equipped to handle part of the problem. Ashley Ahearn reports.

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Columbia River Care
8:02 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Davy Crockett Oil Spill and Cleanup Was Preventable

The 433-foot flat deck barge Davy Crockett continues disassembly on the Columbia River, Wash., Ore., border on May 20, 2011. Metal is cut away from the floating stern section, and transferred to barges to be hauled away.
Photo by: Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler U.S. Coast Guard

COUMBIA RIVER, Wash. -- The U.S. Coast Guard and its contractors spent 10 months and $22 million last year removing the Davy Crockett from the Columbia River. The barge had broken apart during a botched salvage job, spilling oil and PCBs into the river.

Workers removed more than 38,000 gallons of oil from the ship. The cleanup was declared a success. But an EarthFix investigation has found that government officials could have prevented the oil spill and the need for a multi-million dollar cleanup.

Bonnie Stewart has the story.

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Washington Refinery Strike
6:33 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Tentative Labor Deal Averts Western Wash. Refinery Strikes

ConocoPhillips oil refinery at Cherry Point, Washington.
Tom Banse Northwest News Network

FERNDALE, Wash. -- The United Steelworkers Union has reached a tentative deal with oil companies to avert a possible strike at dozens of refineries, including three important ones in the Northwest. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

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